In Tents

In the morning, Wilom learned he wasn’t the only one leaving the hotel for the Capital. A woman and her daughter were travelling just ahead of him on the road. The daughter was skipping on ahead, babbling half to herself, and half to a distressingly realistic stuffed toy bear. She wore a backpack, the child-sized duplicate of the one on the woman’s back. Continue reading

Gallery of What Could Have Been

Shorter filler today, but hopefully still interesting! If people like this, I hope to do one for every chapter. Basically, I’m going to post a short list of things that I considered putting into the story, or that were actually written into a previous draft, but which didn’t make the final cut. None of these things are actually part of the story, or will ever end up in the story, but I thought it might be interesting to share what decisions could have been made, or the stages that the draft went through to get to where it ended up.

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Meetings

A short story of the ferryman and the lighthouse keeper.

The ferryman pushed away from the bank and began to row. He was used by now to the lack of noise and the feel of the water against his oar, but he was still not used to having his own boat. No senior ferryman to speak to on the way back, nobody to ask if he had questions. Continue reading

The Clear Path

Wilom started to grow tired of waiting for the ferryman to say something. Being in the boat was starting to chafe. Not the job – Duty – itself; there was never any difference in that. But he and the ferryman seemed to have hit a sort of rut. Their silences were nothing like the companionable silences they used to have, the silent understanding that there was nothing they really needed to say. Now, they seemed stale. The big unanswered question of whether Wilom would leave or stay hung between them and Wilom couldn’t talk without feeling like he was deliberately avoiding the topic. The ferryman’s manner didn’t change, but Wilom was sure he felt it too. Continue reading